This post is by the lovely Ashe Mischief!
Wait–what? What is a gravatar?
A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar: a image that is connected with your email address. This follows you around the web and shows up next to comments on all blogs & websites that are gravatar-friendly. (Mostly WordPress sites and forums) You can see them in action on dramatis personae and even here on IFB. If you go to any post with comments, you will see that some users have a small picture of themselves or representing their brand next to the comment– that's their gravatar. Signing up for a gravatar is super easy, and I consider it a must for bloggers!
Gravatars are a simple tool that really can impact your blogging experience. They are a great way to identify yourself & set yourself apart from other bloggers. When 10,000 bloggers have the word “Style” in their name, how do you distinguish yourself from the others? A gravatar means easier identification for other readers & bloggers, and it's a great way to infuse more of your own personality in to your web presence without any work. Recognition & building relationships with other bloggers becomes as easy as 1-2-3 with the help of a gravatar.
So, now that I've signed up, how should I choose a gravatar?
Everyone's mileage may vary on this, but this is what I try to do myself and find easiest as a blogger:
- Consider using the same image for Twitter & your Gravatar
- Use an image that is identifiable with the design of your website
- Use yourself–nothing is more memorable on the anonymous internet than a smiling face!
The nice thing about gravatars is that they're not permanent. You can change them as regularly as you change your header, your twitter icon, or your personal hair color. But if you can at least keep them all consistent with one another, than you've given yourself a little bit of branding that can go a long way!